Kafka Style

This post is partially inspired by a recent WordPress Daily Post prompt using the word “transformation.”

Last night, I dreamed of work. This isn’t an unusual dream- I generally assume that a work dream just means that I need a vacation.    This is different though.  I’ll explain.

When people ask me “what do you do,” I usually scoff and say that my job isn’t who I am. I say that there are so many more interesting ways for them to get to know me than to ask about my employment.

I’m lying, though.

For so long, I’ve identified a large part of myself as who I am to my coworkers. They’re another family, really. And my particular experience with our European partners has made me “the guy” for any questions about that.   All of this is changing now.  I’ve begun the process of “knowledge transfer,” which basically means telling the guy taking over my stuff where I documented everything that I do.

Also, I have to burn off sick time that would not be payed out at the end.  This means that I’ll be sprinkling my remaining sick days throughout the next few weeks. Yesterday was the first of these self-enforced exiles, and it’s difficult for me to not work. I was home and working on other things, and the urge to check my work e-mail creeps in. “I’ll just work one tiny trouble ticket. Nobody will know.”  It’s insidious.

Amelie's resolve face. I see this whenever I'm doing something I shouldn't be doing.
Amelie’s resolve face.  I see this whenever I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing.

This is part of the challenge ahead of me.  I have to get used to doing other things.  I have to stop checking in on my e-mail or the ticket queue when I’m not at work.  It’s gotten so bad that if I have my own command line stuff up on my computer, Amelie will give me a stern look and ask if I’m working.

This is the time that I have to become someone else, in a manner of speaking.  I must separate out the part of me that works even on vacation days so that I can re-purpose him for the next employer, the next adventure.

I’m still making decisions about where I want to be after this employment ends, but one thing I know for sure-  I won’t still be “the guy” for my current job responsibilities any more.   That guy only has about a month left to do his thing.

I wonder who I’ll be next.

Who are you at work?

Editor’s Note:  I’m attempting to blog every day in November with CheerPeppers.  I don’t expect to succeed because life be crazy, but any blogging in excess of my previous post-free month is a win, right?

4 thoughts on “Kafka Style

  1. Tmmb

    If you don’t mind, I’ll give my own personal thoughts on what you’re saying. I’ve also been “that person” who has all the answers as you well know and for some reason I’ve never felt that I can’t be that person again somewhere else if I want to be. In my opinion, you have the qualities to be that guy again anywhere else if you so choose. Not everyone has the brains, sense of responsibility, or the discipline that you do. I had lost it towards the end, I think. I had been burnt out for a while, but I don’t doubt you have what it takes to become that somewhere else if you so choose. Having said that, I think part of the reason we were those people is the length of time we stayed working there. I don’t know that I will do that again unless I find some place I feel just as satisfied. I think from now on I will soak up what I can knowledge wise and then move on if the place doesn’t keep challenging me.

    It is interesting to watch someone else go thru the same gambit of emotions and self doubt that I did already 2-3 months ago. Just take it all one day at a time, keep blogging, and it will all get better. Not checking email hasn’t been a problem for me for a while, but once your access is revoked and your devices can no longer check in for updates, it will feel weird. Make sure you get all your address book contacts. I had so many personal ones on exchange and didn’t even realize it. Don had to send them to me a couple weeks after I left.

    I still haven’t officially moved on with another job. (I’m not even looking..yet) But emotionally and mentally, I’ve moved on already. I don’t even miss the folks I used to work with every waking minute like I used to. That’s not to say I don’t want to maintain the friendships, I just don’t feel like my world has completely changed anymore.

    You have rare qualities that most other IT employees don’t have. You are meticulous, retain information well, and you give a shit about your work.

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